By Robert Allen
"Allen's Dictionary of English words" is the main finished survey of this region of the English language ever undertaken. taking on 6000 words, it explains their which means, explores their improvement and offers citations that diversity from the Venerable Bede to Will Self. Crisply and wittily written, this booklet is choked with memorable and outstanding aspect, no matter if exhibiting that 'salad days' comes from Antony and Cleopatra, that 'flavour of the month' originates in Nineteen Forties American ice cream advertising, or perhaps that we have now been 'calling a spade a spade' because the 16th century. "Allen's Dictionary of English words" is a part of the "Penguin Reference Library" and attracts on over 70 years of expertise in bringing trustworthy, worthy and transparent info to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world - making wisdom everybody's estate.
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Extra info for Allen's Dictionary of English Phrases
Charlotte Brontë Shirley 1849 Mr. Helstone, thus addressed, wheeled about in his chair, and looked over his spectacles at his niece: he was taken aback. Her father and mother! What had put it into her head to mention her father and mother, of whom he had never, during the twelve years she had lived with him, spoken to her? ABC (as) easy/simple as ABC very easy or straightforward. The use of ABC to mean the alphabet as a whole dates from Middle English, and expressions such as know one’s ABC and learn one’s ABC are found from an early date.
The sentiment can be found as early as the 1st cent. xxxiii): semper in absentes felicior aestus amantes (‘Passion is always stronger in absent lovers’). In English the phrase appears as a line in a mid 19th cent. song ‘The Isle of Beauty’ by T Haynes Bayly (1797-1839). g. a 16th cent. source offers the assurance that ‘Absence works wonders’ and, more specifically, the diplomat and poet Sir Henry Wotton wrote in 1589 that ‘nothing was able to add more to [affection] than absence’. But contrary notions are also found: ‘three things there be that hinder love, that’s absence, fear, and shame’ (W Averell, Charles and Julia, 1581); and there is an implicit contradiction in out of sight, out of mind (see sight).
But it came into real prominence in the 1970s, when concern for the environment and awareness of the dangers to it intensified. 19th cent. the acid test a conclusive or searching test. The meaning is developed from the slightly older physical sense of a test for gold using nitric acid, to which gold reacts. Fowler in Modern English Usage (1926) listed the expression among his ‘popularized technicalities’ and identified it as ‘the term of this sort most in vogue at the time of writing’. Some twenty years later, George Orwell in his uncompromising article Politics and the English Language (first published in the periodical Horizon in 1946 and reprinted in several collections of his essays) included it among the ‘verbal refuse’ – along with Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, and other phrases – that should be consigned ‘to the dustbin where it belongs’.